This Capstone addresses the issue of cultural identity of Triqui participants in the educational-based program of Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots, a non-profit organization in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico. The Introduction describes the organization in detail and defines its goals, and underscores its dramatic growth in the years since 1996, when it was officially founded. Particular attention is paid to the founders of the organization, and how their personal beliefs and values have shaped the direction of Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots.

The main research question I attempt to answer is the following: How do Triqui participants in the educational-based program of Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots understand themselves in cultural terms? This study involves the use of field research techniques, and the tradition of phenomenology is employed to guide it, as this tradition focuses on the lived experiences of individuals. The data collection method is 22 taped one-on-one interviews, and the principles of grounded theory are utilized to code and analyze the data given by participants in their answers to seven distinct yet interrelated questions.

The two main conclusions of the study are that Triqui participants in Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots have developed an under-defined yet remarkably fluid bi-cultural identity, but also “false consciousness” about assimilation into middle-class Mexican society. Five practical recommendations are made to the human resources of Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots on behalf of its Triqui beneficiaries. Two suggestions for further research are also offered and the study is deemed to be practically applicable to the human resources of similar organizations around the world, indigenous participants in educational-based programs, cultural anthropologists, and fellow SIT students who are researching a similar topic.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Instruction | Education